Of Zeppelin, The Habs and Toronto sports radio idiocy

As U2 once sang, "It's a beautiful day!" The Habs' nutsoballs ex-GM, Pierre Gauthier is gone. The birds were chirping today. The sun was shining and as soon as I heard the news of the firing of Monsieur Panic Button, Led Zeppelin's "Rain Song" sprang into my head. Why? Because it may simply be the most beautiful song ever written by the iconic band, and I recently saw, via YouTube, a 1994 live rendition of the song that blew my mind.

In fact, here it is. Let it soothe you and bring peace upon you. Afterwards, I'll tell you some more about how there's no question that Toronto sports radio folk have no clue about evaluating on-ice talent. Meanwhile, here. Relax. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Now, let's re-up on the anger intake for a sec. OK, Toronto sports radio personalities, you know who you are... I get it. You rant for ratings. You compare and contrast and speculate on who will get what job, which athletes deserve their salaries, which teams are great, mediocre, shit (ummm... Blue and White jerseys, anyone?) But boys, when you state that the Habs are a worse mess than the Maple Leafs going forward after this season, stop smoking the wacky weed and talking crap.

Yes, the Canadiens had a marginally shittier year than the Buds. Yeah, more was expected from them and they had a GM that made Brian Burke look like Scotty Bowman (at times), but let's evaluate TALENT for a moment.

Habs vs Maple Leafs, Who sucks more?
I'll put up four names on the Habs' talent depth chart and let's see if the Leafs can compare. And I'm just talking bare minimum nucleus of the core of the teams that can help propel each one forward to some measure of success in the coming year.

Habs: 1. Carey Price 2. Max Pacioretty 3. P.K. Subban 4. David Desharnais
Leafs: 1. Phil Kessel 2. Joffrey Lupul 3. ??? 4. ???

And Leafs fans, if you scream at me that Dion Phaneuf compares to P.K. Subban in any form or fashion, or that James Reimer or Jonas Gustavsson comes even close to Carey Price in net, you're so delusional you need professional help.

This, combined with the fact that the Canadiens also have a bona fide warrior/power forward in Eric Cole and a solid emerging corps of D-men in Emelin, Weber, et al, clearly makes Montreal about 85 million steps closer to "good" than whatever Toronto has at the moment.

That said, today on TSN's 1050, the good lads on air had the audacity to say the Habs' were worse off than the Leafs. This crap drives me nuts. Guys, get a grip. Your team absolutely sucks. There's little hope. Randy Carlyle will have a big job ahead of him. Meanwhile, in Montreal, you're looking at a team that was in disarray all year because of managerial decisions and a lame duck coach. But never forget, the Canadiens went deep in the playoffs two years ago and last year took the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins, to a seventh game that could have gone either way. With pretty much this same lineup.

Also, it's quite possible that your sister station in Montreal, TSN 990, has more hockey knowledge in it's office toilet bowl than your 1050 staff.

What have the Leafs accomplished so far this millenium? Haven't seen the playoffs since 2004. That's eight years folks. Could be eight more the way they look now.

Rant over.


Bob Marley

From Bob Marley and the Wailers' 1974 album Natty Dread, and re-released on the 1975 album Live. No Woman No Cry


Les Enfants Terribles- Restaurant Review

Les Enfants Terribles is a finely and stylishly decorated restaurant  in the Outremont district of Montreal. The name of the restaurant translates to Mischievous Children - the book of the same name was translated to The Holy Terrors.
Open since 2008, this Bernard Street eatery sports a busy and noisy atmosphere, with a brunch, lunch and dinner menu.
Mini chorizo pogo
This busy restaurant suffers from poor acoustics, creating a terribly noisy atmosphere to the point we were unable to hear conversations at our own table. The noise pollution takes away from the ambiance of an otherwise pleasant setting.

Overall, the food was very good quality, in both presentation and taste. Large portions and a lengthy wine list would satisfy most foodies. The bilingual and courteous servers provided their suggestions and provided very good prompt service.
Lamb Burger
The drink orders took a very long time to arrive. Very long time. Each and every time we ordered. This was likely due to under-staffing at the bar, only one person was on duty. The food however, arrived promptly.
I ordered the Lamb Burger. The tendency for lamb burgers is to be dry, in this case, Les Enfants Terribles served a burger of the perfect consistency, juicy and tasty, topped with goat cheese, tomatoes, onions and arugula.

The two ladies at the table shared the small Mac and Cheese dish and ordered a salad each. The Macaroni was rich and filling and the small portion with a side salad is perfect meal. My appetizer, the mini chorizo was tasty and as well presented as it could be considering it was called pogo. Calling it a pogo takes away from the otherwise classy presentation. To sum it all up, the food and service above average and if you plan to go, make a reservation to assure prompt seating.


Book Review: A Crown Imperilled

In Raymond Feist's latest novel A Crown Imperilled he returns to the form that made his early novels so successful. Much like Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, the pages of A Crown Imperilled are filled with action, political intrigue and rich and interesting characters.

Since the time of the Serpentwar, we witnessed a dilution in the line of kings in the Kingdom of the Isles. In the Chaoswar, the ConDoin royal family returns to its heroic past.

As war once again ravages Midkemia, its brave and loyal defenders battle to survive. In each kingdom a single petty noble has risen from obscurity to threaten the throne. Enemies march across the realm wreaking destruction — a struggle made more perilous now that Jim Dasher's trusted intelligence network has been cleverly dismantled. Region by region, Midkemia is being ripped apart, and the loyal spy and his allies find themselves overpowered at every turn.

In thirty years of publishing, R.E.F. has had his ups and downs. His excellent stories in the Riftwar Saga and Empire trilogy preceded the very good Serpent War Saga and Conclave of the Shadows. But along with the good came the mediocre and the bad such as the Darkwar and Demonwar books.

With A Crown Imperilled Feist discards some of the weaker characters introduced in his last few novels, focusing in on the stronger heroes, and brings back three of the most popular.

The novel A Crown Imperilled serves as a perfect cliffhanger and leap to the final chapter that has been thirty years in coming. We are left with some intriguing questions. Who will be the next king? Who is behind the turmoil? If not the Pantathian serpents, if not the Valheru, who is behind the war? Much is happening and we have not figured out why. We know a new war is coming and that Midkemia will look different politically and geographically. The return of Nakor and Miranda, Thomas and Calis are hopefully a sign that they will have bigger roles in the final book Magincian's End due for release in early 2013.


It's St. Patty's Day, so it must be U2

I'm posting this at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday March 17, so technically it's still St. Patrick's Day. Therefore, it seems only right to me to posit my personal Top 10 Best U2 songs on this, the Irish day of green beer and hangovers.

So, without further ado (and because I have always had an unhealthy man-crush/music hard-on for Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.) here's my "desert island" list. What do you think and what would you, if you are a U2 fan, have chosen?

U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr 
10: I Will Follow (Live at Red Rocks) - Is there a better raw anthemic rock song from the 80s?
9: Ultra Violet (light my way) - Probably the most overlooked U2 song in my opinion.
8: All I Want is You - Rattle and Hum wasn't great, but this song sure was.
7: Walk On - Nice "comeback" album. Nicer song.
6: Stay (Faraway, So Close) - Hated the album. Way too weird. But man, this song. The passion!
5: Please - Pop was a mixed bag, some cool shit, some throwaways. But "Please" is a triumph.
4: Love is Blindness - Listen to any live version of this from the Zoo TV tour and tell me you don't get chills.
3: One Tree Hill/Exit - Most underrated song on The Joshua Tree. (And yes, "Exit" was supposed to be a part of "One Tree Hill", so it counts as one song in my book.)
2: Bad - Could've been my number 1 pick, but for the sheer overpowering awesomeness of...
1: Where the Streets Have No Name - An incredible opening track to the best fucking atmospheric rock album ever made. Here endeth the lesson.

Honourable mention:

- The rest of The Joshua Tree.

I Will Follow (Live at Red Rocks) 


About Schwartz's...

Montreal's Schwartz's
Let me tell you the dirty little secret about that venerated Montreal smoked meat institution, now owned in part by Céline Dion and Rene Angélil, that you might not like to hear: It's NOT the only iconic smoked meat game in town.

In fact, it may not even be the best smoked meat in town. Wha'!? "Blasphemy" you say? Listen, I grew up dans la belle ville. Spent 33 years there and had many a Schwartz's sandwich (medium, double mustard, fries and the mandatory cherry cola). And yes, it's delicious. No argument there. And yes, it's a part of the history of the city, Montreal Jewish history and now every Montrealer's history. It's a landmark. A foodie and tourist mecca. One of those places that puts Montreal on the gastronomic map. Yeah, yeah. I know. I agree. But hear me out.

People, there is an alternative to the now insanely popular and line-up encumbered Schwartz's; A more accessible, authentic Montreal smoked meat source exists mere metres away across the street! It's called The Main. And here's the dirty little secret that Schwartz's and their reputation-makers don't want you to know: The Main is every bit as good as Schwartz's. Yes. There. I said it. Damn straight.
The Main, Montreal's other smoked meat
My father taught me and my sister this (my mom hates smoked meat, so she abstained from the delicious viande fumée excursions my dad planned) while we were but wee kiddies. It was an invaluable lesson. Now, whenever I'm back in Montreal, I'll make a point of getting out to St. Laurent Street and popping by the Main. Sure, I'll sneak a quick peek at Schwartz's on the off chance there's no line, and if there isn't, I'll flip a coin and head to one or the other.

But let me tell you, for my money (and time) The Main is the shit. It delivers on quality, service and the decor is every bit as old, musty and atmospheric as Schwartz's. The only difference is, at The Main, you actually have breathing room and booths to eat at.

Again, I'm not disparaging the Schwartz's experience. Everyone should have it. But from my veteran Montrealer's perspective, The Main's sandwich is delectable and its relaxed atmosphere and perpetual non-trendiness makes it my choice for smoked meat in Quebec. Everyone should also experience The Main.

That being said, I fucking hope Céline and her entourage don't get it into their heads to franchise Schwartz's into some Nickels-type monstrosity. Leave Schwartz's alone! You hear me Angélil?! You purchased a living piece of Montreal history. Don't fuck it up. Just enjoy your lifetime of free smoked meat sandwiches and your V.I.P. stools and let the place continue to bring joy to taste buds around town. And for God's sake, don't try and muscle out your competition across the street. You can exist in harmony with The Main like Schwartz's has for decades.

God, I'm hungry now.


Idiot Drivers. Yes. You.

Some people piss me off. This time it's the drivers that are so fucking lazy they put lives at risk. Those fucktards who cannot be bothered to clear the snow or ice off their car. Yes, you, who just scrapes a 5"x5' hole to see out the windshield. Do you know, you lazy bastard, the snow flying off the roof of your car lands on the windshield of other cars?

If you are reading this and you see yourself, then smarten the fuck up. I saw someone just like you come close to killing someone last week. I waited until today to write this so I would calm down. Yes. This is me calmer.

A pile of snow from your stupid SUV/ mini van/ car/ truck flew off your roof and landed on someone's windshield. This lady's car swerved and spun out and luckily slid onto the paved shoulder. Luckily her baby was in a solid, secured seat and did not know what happened.
The driver? Not so lucky. She had a bloodied temple when she cracked her head on the driver side window. Yeah, she walked away. Yes. You are lucky.

Hey! How would you feel if you caused someone's death?

Remember this one? If I push you, you fall and get up and walk away, nothing happens. If I push you, you fall, crack your head and die, I go to jail. So, if you don't care about killing someone, think about getting buggered in prison.

Quit taking chances with other people's lives you @#^$!.
Bad Drivers


I Missed

My brain is tired and lately all that I seem to come up with are toilet stories and well, toilet humour. Nobody likes layoffs but it seems the last round of cuts included the guy who was crapping on the toilet seats. But the recent transfers to our building there's a new guy who shits up the inside the bowl. In the non shitting area!

I can't understand how you miss if you are sitting. Reminds me of that hilarious and infamous scene from the Eddy Murphy movie Daddy Day Care. "I missed."